Parents in Dane County have scheduled an event to update the public on Governor Scott Walkers’ devastating cuts to their children’s educational opportunities and to plan what they can do, together, to form advocacy groups and work for a better way. The event follows closely on the heels of a similar meeting in Greenfield, March 5, that saw over 400 people come together to plan the next step.
March 27, members of the Dane County School Board Consortium and WAES will host a community meeting — “The Future of Public Education and A Call to Action” — at the Monona Grove High School Commons, 4400 Monona Drive, Monona. The hoped-for outcomes of the event, which runs from 3 to 4:40 p.m., include an increased understanding of school funding in Wisconsin, alternatives to cuts in funding, and formation of community advocacy groups. For more information, call 608-217-5938 or go to here.
3 responses to “Dane County Parent Organizing Meeting set for this Sunday”
This was a disappointing meeting for me. I wanted to know what consistent message we should all be giving when we talk to the Joint Finance Committee starting April 7. After several people left, probably because they had heard most of the information presented before, the floor was finally, after 2 hours, opened to questions. When I asked for a simple message, one or three points here what the answer was:
1) Pennys for kids
2) Raise Taxes on Corporations
3) Close tax loop holes
Not helpful to me. This leaves me and 200 willing people to figure out a message. The result will be a bunch of diverse stories about our experiences as parents and no clear request to the Joint Finance Committee for specific funding. At this point, here is what I plan to say:
“The way that our tax money is spent is choice that you as members of the Senate and Assembly make based on what taxpayers need and want. The governor’s budget proposes that that money be spent on corporations. This is wrong. I want my tax dollars to be spent on the people of Wisconsin. Most importantly, I want my tax dollars to be spent on educating and improving the quality of life for Wisconsin kids so they can prepare for a better life and a more prosperous Wisconsin. I want the legislature to fully fund the 2/3 of school funding that is required under the current formula. This is what was promised to us under Governor Tommy Thompson when the school finance formula was signed into law. I urge you to raise the corporate income tax and close tax loop holes so that that money can be spent on public school children. We must prepare them for the future.”
If anyone has a suggestion as to how I can make this message better, please let me know.
I believe you are not alone. I thought the “what can we do?” portion of the program was not well planned for and had little if any impact. For a solid percentage of the audience, the “how did we get here” was well understood, but definitely new information for some. That’s obviously important.
But for many who showed for the “formation of community advocacy groups” portion and the cohesive messaging, etc., that, unfortunately, was lacking. Your question at the Q & A was spot on. Many in the room have been active in school finance reform for over a decade and figured that this was a rare opportunity to have a regional confab that could have included some lengthy discussion about more strategic and tactical directions for activists and newly energized people to participate in these coming critical months. Sadly, that was mostly lacking today and a real missed opportunity.
Here is the link for the budget hearings the Joint Committee is required to have. Please pass this along. The more people who show up the better they can hear us.